According to an announcement from the marching band, Maggie St. Clair, director of Operations for the Michigan Marching Band unexpectedly passed away after a medical emergency Saturday morning just before leaving for the Michigan v. Ohio State football game.
Marching Band Drum Major Kelly Bertoni, an LSA junior, said working with St. Clair on Fridays was her favorite time of day because of St. Clair’s caring personality.
“Every Friday I would go in was just the highlight of my day,” Bertoni said. “It was a time where we would just talk and catch up on life things and then go to work.”
“Kelly, where’s my hug for the day?”
This is what St. Clair would ask Bertoni as she came in to help St. Clair with the marching band’s finances and office work every Friday.
St. Clair had worked at the University since 1974, becoming an administrative assistant for the band in 1987.
Bertoni also said the band has come together as a family since St. Clair’s death.
“It’s times like these where you truly realize how much of a family the marching band is,” Bertoni said. “That’s something that Maggie truly encompassed. She definitely helped create that family environment and that support system.”
The Michigan Marching Band released a statement regarding St. Clair’s passing late Saturday morning.
“It is impossible to encompass everything that Maggie meant to the Michigan Marching Band in a short statement,” the statement reads. “She has been the heart of this organization for decades. The high standards that she held herself and those around her to helped shape the MMB into what it is today.”
Marching band members have also changed their Facebook profile pictures to the marching band logo with a black ribbon through the block M, which has been used to symbolize a death in the marching band community.
LSA senior Dimitar Jakimovski, another member of the band, said he learned of St. Clair’s passing when Marching Band Director John Pasquale gathered the band shortly before the pregame performance in Columbus.
Jakimovski said he had recently helped St. Clair fix a display case in Revelli Hall. St. Clair went to leave and asked Jakimovski if he needed anything. St. Clair then decided to stay and talk with him about life before heading out for the night.
In working with St. Clair on administrative tasks and the annual banquet, Jakimovski saw her passion for the work.
“It wasn’t just a job for her,” Jakimovski said. “People don’t do things for 42 years because it’s just a job.”
Jakimovski said he believes all marching band members performed for St. Clair after learning of her death.
“I think all 235 of us were thinking of her when we performing in the block M on Ohio’s field for her and all she’s done for us,” Jakimovski said.